Braised Ancho Chili Beef Short Ribsby Dawn T in Rouxbe Recipes
This is an extremely flavorful braised short rib dish with a definite spicy 'kick'.
- Serves: 4
- Active Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 3 - 5 hrs
- Comments: 78
- Views: 20102
- Success 93%
This is an extremely flavorful braised short rib dish with a definite spicy 'kick'.
Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C). Note: For really tender meat, these ribs can be cooked at 200°F. See the lessons on "Braising" and "Combination Cooking Fundamentals" (on the Related Videos tab) for more information.
Soak the ancho chiles in boiling hot water for 20 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
Season the ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven or frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the ribs in batches, if necessary. Brown the ribs on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
First, roughly chop the onion and place into a food processor along with the garlic, ancho chiles, chipotle peppers, chipotle sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and the seasonings and pulse until fully blended.
Using the same dutch oven or fry pan that you browned the ribs in, cook the chili puree over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the coffee and about 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add the ribs back into the pot being sure the liquid comes about halfway up the sides of the ribs (add more water if necessary).
Cover the Dutch oven and braise on the middle rack of the oven, turning at at least once or twice during cooking. Cook for 2 to 3 hours, or until fork tender. The time will depend on the size of the ribs and the temperature you cooked them at.
After about an hour or so, turn the ribs over in the sauce. The meat should be very tender and pull apart easily when done. Once done, let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Better yet, make the ribs the day before. See the "Related Videos" tab for more information.
Like many braised dishes, this dish is better if made the day before (or even two days before). This will allow more time for the flavors to infuse into each other. By refrigerating it overnight, most of the fat will rise to the surface, so it can easily be removed (making the dish that much healthier). The heat in the dish also mellows out quite a bit as the ribs sit overnight.
You will likely have to go to your butcher shop or meat specialty store to buy these ribs. See the drill down attached to the recipe for more information on how to buy them.
I was about to fall back on the tried and true red wine braised short ribs for a recent dinner party, but thought I'd try this recipe instead. What a wonderful wonderful and thoroughly delicious recipe. Honestly, the ancho chili twist is a delightful surprise and not too spicy. In fact, the slow braising produces a rich, complex and mellow flavour with just a little kick. Add more chili if you want it spicier, but this is very well balanced as is.
Aside for a little time-consuming browning of the meat, short ribs are a great one for dinner parties since you don't have to worry all that much about timing. Pull them out of the oven when you are ready!
As an aside, I have heard about taking the ribs out of the dutch oven and putting them under the broiler just before serving to give them a nice crust. I'm not sure this is something I'd do with this recipe though since the sauce is thick and would not carmelize all that much - just make sure you get a good browning on the meat in step 1.
Dawn here, from Rouxbe. Cannot tell you how happy I am that you liked the recipe. It is one I also make often for dinner parties for that same reason - it makes me a better hostess cause I can then relax and actually socialize with my friends!
For the record, not sure about the raw onions, especially because there are lots in the actual sauce. But if someone tries it and it is great, let me know.
The chipotle drill-down on this recipe is quite good. Apart from the canned chilies there are a couple of brands of chipotle sauce that could be used if you don't find them in a can. The Tabasco brand has a chipotle version, but it's not as good as the Búfalo brand - a Mexican brand from Herdez. In any case, the canned chilies are better though.
I made this dish just for the two of us -- awesome. Left-overs were equally good. Esp liked the hint of tipping up the dish to make the removal of fat so easy -- I haven't made ribs much in the past as they are so greasy. Also the smashed sweet potatoes have since become a standard side dish at our house. Or should I say casa, in homage to the ancho chilies.
I made these ribs for a recent birthday dinner along with the suggested sides of smashed sweet potatoes and roasted glazed carrots. We were *very* impressed with this entire meal! The flavours, colours, textures all complemented each other perfectly.
The only change I made was to half the amount of chipotle chilis, as I was concerned that it would be too hot. My mistake, there was no heat at all. Next time I will add the full amount of chili.
I made these ribs yesterday and put them in the fridge after to serve today. When I went to de-fat the cold ribs I found somewhat less fat than shown in the video. I'm concerned that the 350F braising temp caused boiling in the oven and emulsified a lot of the fat. That said, the sauce is still pretty good.
Don't worry...the ribs you used where just likely less fatty than the ones we used in the video. I have made this recipe many times and the amount of fat that rises to the surface is always different, it just depends on how fatty the ribs were to begin with.
As far as the temperature, this shouldn't matter too much. I have cooked them at this temperature before (especially when I am short on time) and they are fine. You are correct though, that slower and lower is the way to go. Hope this helps!
Indeed you can use a slow cooker or crock pot for this. Just as you said, brown the meat and make the sauce then put everything into the slow cooker.
Here is another forum thread where I talk about a bit more about "Braising in a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker. Hope this helps!
If you leave out the chipotle in this recipe it will greatly affect the final result, as that is one of the main flavors of this dish. The chipotles do add heat, but they also add good flavor and a bit of smokiness.
This thread also talks about this same subject.
The chipotle in cans (in adobo sauce) are available in more and more stores these days and they can also be ordered online.
Cook's Thesaurus gives a substitute for chipotle that you can make yourself. I have not tried it but here is the link.
Hope this helps!
Yes you would need to first dry the poblano in the oven. Here is a link that I found with a bit more information about drying chilies, http://www.happynews.com/living/cooking/dry-chili-peppers.htm - give it a try and let us know how it turned out for you. Cheers!
I prepared the Braised Ancho Chili Short Ribs this past week and they were EXCELLENT! Very yummy indeed. However, I had a heck of a time finding decent short ribs at the local grocers (and they are hardly the "economy" cut they once were). One place had boneless short ribs...the marbling looked good, and I was wondering how well these might do in this recipe. The one large piece of connective tissue next to the bone is missing of course, but I was unable to cook mine down enough to make that palatable anyway. Thanks and Cheers!
Indeed, you could use boneless short ribs for this recipe. I sometimes buy the whole section of boneless ribs and just cut big pieces myself. Good for you for focusing on what the meat looked like (marbling etc.) as this is what matters most. Hope this helps - cheers!
Someone has been doing their homework :-)
To be honest this is an older recipe and we used to cook this dish at a higher temperature, until our experiments proved that slower and lower is better with moist heat cooking...if time permits.
Really you can cook this at either/or any temperature - but again for the ultimate results - lower and slower is better. Here is a drill-down that goes into more detail about oven temperatures for combination cooking. Cheers!
I made these ribs tonight but had a bit of a problem with them. I tried to 1/2 the recipe, so I basically 1/2ed everything including the liquid. It was about 1/2 way up on most of the rib portions when I started so I thought I'd be ok. After flipping 1/2 way, I left the pot in the oven for another hour and fifteen minutes and basically burned everything up. I should have watched it more closely but it didn't occur to me that this might happen. I was quite surprised.
What's the solution to this problem in the future? Do I not 1/2 the liquid portion of the recipe? I'm assuming the cook time needs to stay the same to cook the meat properly but... maybe it doesn't. Would using a dutch oven with a smaller diameter and the ribs & liquid higher in it have helped?
Any thoughts are appreciated. It kind of sucked that it was ruined but mistakes are going to happen. Oh well, still learned a lot and will try again in a day or so.
First off let me start by saying good job Bill. I say this because rather then get frustrated or blame the recipe you seem to be taking this as a learning experience and you are ready to try it again. That is totally the right attitude of a good cook.
Now here are a few things that I think may have gone wrong for you that may help you the next time you make these. I think that you likely did not have enough liquid. When it comes to braising it is not so much about a recipe calling for this amount or that amount it is about how much liquid the ribs need to cook. They should generally be covered by about 2/3d's.
As you mentioned, your pot was also likely too big for the amount you were cooking. I think if you review the lessons on Combination Cooking (in particular topic 4 and 6) and also the lesson on Braising and then practice again you will see much different results, even if you halve or double a recipe :-)
Hope this helps - cheers!
So far everything is going pretty well, but I fear I have put a little too much chipotle pepper & adobe sauce in the mix here. Let's just say, there's a real nice kick to my sauce that explodes in your mouth about 30 seconds after tasting it. I am having company over tomorrow night, a couple and their 12 year old son, and am concerned it might be a little on the hot side for them. Any tricks on how to mellow it out just a tad? Thank you...
I wonder if the old "potato trick" would help with the excessive chili heat. When a soup or stew is too salty, you can mitigate somewhat by throwing a cut potato into the pot for a while, letting it soak of some of the salt, and then discarding. Not sure if it would have the same effect on the chipotle.
Funny; I've made this recipe twice and, being a big lover of chipotle, have been tempted to increase the amount called for! I've refrained, and found the balance to be just right. In fact, a friend who shared these with us recently said they were the best short ribs he's ever had in his life, and one of the best meals I've ever prepared for him. High praise!
I will just say that the heat does seem to mellow. I remember the first time I made these ribs, I thought to myself, "Holy cow these are going to be spicy" but then in the end they were not. Honestly, each time I make them I think they are going to be very spicy but in the end the cooking and then letting them chill overnight really mellows them out. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Cheers!
I have to say, I should have watched the Chipotle Pepper video first! Blending the peppers down in the food processor is a good trick to get a more accurate measurement. My tablespoons of peppers consisted of large whole peppers when I was scooping them out of the can. Really didn't think too much of it at the time because we love smokey and spicy foods. My husband and I tasted the sauce this morning, which is really delicious, but it's still pretty kicky (my husband started coughing after about 30 seconds). C'est la vie... Live and learn!
I think the adults will be able to handle this, and I will be adding about a cup of water to the dish tonight when I re-heat so that might mellow it out a tad?
I also have a pork chop back-up for the 12 year boy, just in case!
Thank you Dawn & Shirley for your input. I will let you know how it goes!
I would love to make this dish but can't find the Ancho chilis. I have looked in half a dozen grocery stores in my area and none have Ancho Chilis. Where are they usually found, or what could I use to substitute? Thank you.
Thanks for the link Dawn. I see lots of comments for the Chipotle Chilis but only one for the Ancho chilis and that refers to drying a Poblano pepper. I have looked for those as well with no luck. So without either Ancho or Poblano chilis I guess I am out of luck for now. Amazon.com sells them but won't ship to Canada.
It took me forever to find them at first. Once you know what to look for you'll see them everywhere :). They are usually in the produce area in a stand with other types of dried chiles, around where you'd also find nuts, dried cranberries, stuff like that. I've also seen them near the deli counter, around the international cheeses. They come in cellophane baggies with one of those cardboard foldover thingies stapled to the baggie, and there's usually 2-4 of them in a bag.
If you can find a Mexican restaurant nearby, ask the staff there where you can find them, I'm sure there's a store nearby.
I find the chilies are often packaged with the label of Pasilla Chili. It's my understanding that the poblano is the term for the chili when fresh, and either Pasilla or Ancho is the dried version. (The Ancho may or not be smoked a bit, as well). In the US, the Tampico brand of cello-packed chilies, herbs, and spices, are widely available in grocery stores. A minute or two spent on www.pepperfool.com will provide something of an education and lots of links to chili pepper resources. Might not get the anchos to you in Canada, but fun nonetheless!
Failng all else, I would be tempted to make the recipe anyway. Possibly use New Mexico or even Guajillo chilies (maybe increasing the coffee amount, or a drop or two of liquid smoke, to round out the flavor). These short ribs are just so dang good! Good luck!
Passillas are not the same thing as anchos. Ancho chiles are dried Poblanos, and Pasilla are dried Chilacas. I'm no chile expert but for sure they are not the same, although they might be very close. This recipe that I make calls for both of them, and I get them from the same brand. The pasillas feel completely dried out, and are excellent for making chile powder. The anchos are almost a raisiny texture, and are great to reconstitute and puree to flavor a sauce.
They sure look alike though don't they :)
Thanks for that clarification, Daniel. Aren't we lucky that there are so many chilies to experience and enjoy!
Maybe toasting the Pasillas prior to soaking would help bring them closer to the flavor desired in this recipe. Just a thought! (I still like my liquid smoke idea. How about a few ground up raisins?) Cheers!
I'm giving it one more try to find the Anchos. We have several chain grocery stores here in Calgary. They do carry chilis in cellophane pkgs but so far no Anchos. I always ask before I leave as well just in case but I'm getting the same answer. I'm pretty sure I saw the Pastillo chilis though - maybe they would work okay but if they aren't the same then I might not risk it just yet. We also have specialty food stores here and I've called several and no luck. One store that sometimes has them told me where try but even then no luck. If I don't find them today then I will make the peppercorn ribs which also look good. And while I'm on the topic of foods I can't find I had the same rotten luck finding Morel mushrooms. Found a lot of other ones but not morels! Thanks, everyone for your comments and wish me luck on my last attempt to get some (Anchos or Morels)!
I'm considering doing this with a large 4lb chuck roast. Wondering whether the halfway up the pot roast rule applies or the 2/3rds up the meat braising rule would apply. Any reason not to substitute a pot roast for the short ribs? Any tips on adding flavor to the browning portion? When doing a pot roast, I usually create a paste of garlic, salt, and rosemary and insert it into the roast before browning. Any suggestions on what I could do similarly to compliment the flavors of the Ancho Chiles?
I have not tried this myself but I am sure it would be good. As for adding more flavor, out of curiosity, have you tried this recipe before, as it already has quite a bit of flavor? And, as for the level of liquid I would go for the halfway up, as shown in the "How to Pot Roast lesson", which I am assuming of course you have watched :-). Good luck and let us know how it goes for you. Cheers!
dawn: I certainly have made it before and u r right....enough flavor. One question remains though. The ancho braised ribs suggest 350 degrees. Most of my pot roasts and certainly the recommendation on Rouxbe is to go low and slow with pot roast, e.g. 200ish. What is the recommendation if doing pot roast with this particular braising liquid? Any reason not to try 200 degree? Will I not get the same caramelization or flavor development in the sauce at 200? Thx!
OK Dawn, last question. I would anticipate that at 225 degrees, we would be talking about an 8 hour braise, no different than in the slow cooker. Is this correct?
Second, is there any risk to combining slow and low for the first few hours, then finishing off at 350 degrees so as to speed up the process? If this heat combo could work, would it work better reversed, e.g. 350 for a few hours, then slow for the last few hours?
You are right - slow and low is just like a slow cooker - nice, even heat. You can certainly turn up the heat but heat is heat no matter what and not matter at what point you decide to turn it up. Slow and low will give you the best results; however, if you are short on time, it's ok to turn it up a bit. The main thing to understand is why you are doing what you are doing and the impact it has on the results. That's all. It leaves you - the cook - in control to decide.
As for how long it will take to cook, there is no definite answer here. When I went to culinary school the answer was always "It is done when it's cooked" :-) Indeed at a lower temp it will take longer but again you just need to cook it until it is fork tender. This could take 4 hours, but then again it could take 6 hours. For more on this you may want to watch the lesson called Combination Cooking Fundamentals (and maybe even the Pot Roasting lesson).
Hope this helps. Cheers!
I noticed watching the video that the sauce you pour over the short ribs is actually quite thick. I've made this a few times, and my sauce is always very soupy. After removing the meat, do you ever reduce the leftover cooking liquid to concentrate the flavors?
Holy cow, I finally found them! Same store chain I hunted in before but different neighborhood. They are labelled Anchos on the store card, Pasilla negro on the pkg label, but they look like Anchos and not Pasilla's. They are dried but still raisony, and not really crispy. Either way, they are gonna go into this recipe. Still need to find decent short ribs though. I bought 5 lbs from a butcher and they are unbelievable inconsistent. Over a pound are lost as they are really only soup bones, there is that little meat on them. The remaining 3.5 lbs are really mixed - anywhere from 1/2" to 2" of meat. Some with a small bit of fat and some with tons of fat. They were only $4/lb while pricier butchers want $8/lb. Makes the dish a bit pricey if you want 6 lbs to serve 4 people. So now on the hunt for a decent butcher with decent prices.
Followed the recipe except subbed Pasillas for Anchos. Used only 3 of them as they looked like they might be a bit larger than Anchos. Also made the Chipotle paste and used 4 TB in the recipe. There is more than a little heat. In fact a lot of heat! According to the Scoville scale, the Pasillas are the same rating as Anchos, so don't know why the result is so hot. I can only assume that subbing Pasillas for Anchos isn't such a good idea. Too bad because the smell coming from the oven was amazing but the spiciness was overpowering and it was hard to taste anything else ):
Even though I really loved this recipe, I've only made it once because decent, nice meaty short ribs are hard to find and/or expensive.
Wonder how this would turn out using some big, meaty turkey thighs. Skin on, for a little added fat, or is the thigh meat fatty enough without the skin?
I do not have a pot like the ones you show in your video. I would be very hestitant to put either of my pans shaped like yours in the oven because they are stainless steel (not very thick) and almost sure the handles are plastic and would melt. Is there a plan B you would recommend?
Once you have finished steps 1 and 2 you can transfer everything to a heat-proof pot (that has a lid) and place into the oven. If the pot is thin, I would recommend cooking the ribs longer at a lower temperature so they cook slow and low. There is more information about slow and low cooking and also about choosing the right pot in the lesson on Combination Cooking Fundamentals. Cheers!
We made these on Friday, a day before they were to be served for brother & sister-in-law. We were so afraid they would be too spicy, since brother-in-law does not like spicy food. On Fri night we tasted and were really nervous, but on Sat. , after the flavors had time to develop, they were wonderful. We were going to serve the juice, on the side, to put on potatoes, but that was really spicy. He raved about it, and wants to come back for a repeat...Thank you Rouxbe.
what can i do to cut done the spicy of the sauce for my 6 years old nephew? should i cut down on the dried ancho chilis or canned or maybe the onions? I plan to make it on Saturday and serve it on Monday. Besides on a scale of 1 to 10 how spicy is this dish?
Thanks I love Rouxbe, the chefs are wonderful.
I would suggest that you cut down on the canned anchos and depending on how much spice you want to cut out you may want to use less of the dried chilis as well...though generally dried anchos are not too overly spicy.
In regards to "on a scale of 1 to 10 how spicy is this dish?" it is hard to say. For me, I would rate it about a 5 or 6 out of 10; however, someone else with a higher or lower tolerance for heat may rate it higher or lower. I do know that when it is first made I do always think, "oh this is quite spicy" but then when I go to serve it, which is never the same day, I think "ah, that's just a nice amount of heat".
Hope this helps. Cheers!
Please see the attached Video Dril-down in Step 3 called "Tips to Making Ribs Ahead" as this is covered in that video. There is also much more information on this sort of thing in many of the Combination Cooking lessons from the Moist-Heat section of the cooking school. Cheers!
I entered these at our annual family rib cook-off and won FIRST prize! I made two substitutions. First, I used pork ribs. I cooked them at 200F for 3 hours and let them rest for two days before the competition. They were tasty and fell off the bone. Second, I could not find the dried ancho chilis nor the canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, even though I tried three grocery stores and two specialty markets. (I live in a fairly large city in Northern Ontario.) I substituted with pureed chipotles that came in a jar. I used 4 tbsp which was a bit too much heat. Next time, I will only use 2 tbsp of the pureed chipotles. During my acceptance speech, I gave full credit to Rouxbe for providing such great lessons. Thank you for the inspiration!
Cooked 15 # of ribs in two crockpots for dinner of 10. They were a hit !
Making them the day before made the dinner so much nicer for me. and the ability to remove the fat layer made them that much better.
The day i made them, the dish was way up there on the heat scale, made me so nervous I made a batch of sauce with no chilies, (added some paprika, and chili powder to get the color right), and mixed in a little of the existing sauce from the recipe. This gave the option of heat or now heat for my quests. To my surprise, the High heat from the night before had mellowed to a perfect level.....I thought things got hotter as they sat ?.....anyway both versions where a winner !
Hello! A few posts back, someone mentioned using this recipe to prepare pork ribs instead of beef short ribs. Got me thinking... now I have a rack of pork ribs I'm ready to try adapting. They are NOT baby back, just regular spareribs. My question: with this low and slow method, need I worry about pre-boiling or baking the ribs, or will this tenderize them enough to be palatable, as written? I've got the time to do it either way. Although the rack was reasonably priced (especially when compared to what I've been paying for beef short ribs!), I want the result be tender and yummy. Thoughts? Thanks and Cheers!
Yes, absolutely. Just proceed as per the recipe for beef ribs. You can first pre-boil them and cook them until tender. Even better if you first sear them like we do in the video before tossing them with the ancho chili paste. Bake in the oven. Hope this helps. Cheers!
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